Highlights from the Intel Development Forum Keynote

Highlights from the Intel Development Forum Keynote
Believe it or not, there is a lot of other tech news today, and from the hotbed of technology that is San Francisco and Silicon Valley. While the gorilla in the room is Apple and the highly anticipated new iPhone … … another not-so-small company, Intel, is holding a three-day development conference, the Intel Development Forum (IDF14) at the venerable Moscone Center, the same venue that hosts Google I/O and Microsoft Build.

The big theme for IDF14 is wearables. Just last week, Intel announced a collaborative agreement with Fossil Group, stylish watchmaker. Fossil has some impressive numbers to speak of when it comes to a fashion accessory company. Fossil Group owns a dozen brands, of which the Fossil brand alone is worth over $1 billion.

When it comes to watches, 1 in 5 watches sold in the $1-to-$500 category are Fossil watches, and that is enough to give Fossil an absolute dominating 80% market share. Its partnership with Intel will not be the company’s first foray in to smartwatches either. A few years ago, the company had the Meta Watch, and over ten years ago, the company had its Wrist Net watches that connected with the old Microsoft Mobile operating system.

The company will also be tipping its toe into Android Wear, but in its partnership with Intel, the company looks to bring a new level of style to the smartwatch segment. No definitive product line was announced during the Keynote, however.

Intel is partnered with other fashion shops too, and recently announced the MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), designed by Opening Ceremony. The hardware is still going through testing, and will be available for sale at Barneys by the holidays. Expect it to be expensive, no official price was announced, but the fashionistas that were talking at the hands-off exhibit were muttering prices “under $1,000.”

Also part of the Keynote, were a number of other facts and figures about Intel’s involvement and plans to work with developers and play a role in the connected world. Intel also announced the codename of its next generation of microprocessors, “Skylake.” Skylake will begin shipping in the second half of 2015.  New CPUs build with new generation 14-nanometer assemblies were also announced. New CORE-m, and CORE-m vPRO chips are in mass production and already shipping. The 5th generation i3/i5/i7 chips are in production and will begin shipping next year.

SMS BioSport “smart” ear buds are a neat development using Intel technology. They offer basic heart rate monitoring without the need for power, and so, they also they do not require any recharging. SMS BioSport will be available by the holidays too.

The future is mobile, and it is wireless. Intel rightly wants to be a part of that future. Despite that, the desktop computer is alive and well however, and the x86 install base is going to exceed 50 billion devices in the next six years.

Intel also announced a couple reference designs for developers which have the Skylake CPU hardware, and a new reference design Android tablet as part of an agreement with Google. Moreover, Intel committed Android updates within two-weeks of updates being applied to the Android Open Source Project.

Intel is an anchor member of the Alliance for Wireless Power, and the company shared some insight to consumer applications to that standard of wireless charging.  We will have a closer look at A4WP in action too.

Intel has a number of products and services in the pipeline, and while there were no projections of the microchip giant overtaking Qualcomm anytime in the foreseeable future, the reality is that we will see Intel a lot more as we see 2-in-1 devices replace tablets, and may see quite a bit more “Intel Inside” new tablets, including the newly announced Dell Venue 8 7000-series.

We will have some up close pictures and features about Dell’s new tablet, and other cool stuff underway at the Intel Developer Forum 2014.


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